Al-Muqtataf’s fundamental originality

Not a month goes by without us being asked the name of an English-speaking review similar to al-Muqtataf or from which our editorial team draws its references. We answer that we know of no such review and we surmise there is no generalist English-speaking review like al-Muqtataf, the significant number of specialised reviews notwithstanding. We subscribe to reviews, one for each chemistry, geology and astronomy, two concerning medicine and four the natural sciences, over and above generalist reviews dealing with politics, ethics, religion and history. None of these reviews looks like al-Muqtataf. We also receive the proceedings of some American and European scientific societies and recent scientific books pertaining to chemistry, nature, geology, archaeology and ethics. These reviews and recent works, added to encyclopaedias, the resource of our own library, the knowledge acquired as university students then lecturers and through papers written over the past thirty years form, month in month out, the font from which al-Muqtataf’s contents are drawn. We feel obliged to offer this clarification, which is not intended to boast al-Muqtataf’s qualities, but to answer once and for all this kind of inquiry.